Tour of Barcelona

Take an expedition through key places and landmarks of this city by the sea

This story was created for the Google Expeditions project by ePublishing Partners, now available on Google Arts & Culture

Mirador de Colom / The Columbus Monument

This cast-iron monument stands on the central quay, or pier, of the Barcelona harbor as a tribute to Christopher Columbus, who returned to the Port of Barcelona after his famed voyage to the New World. 

The monument, designed by architect Gaietà Buïgas i Monravà and called the Mirador de Colom, was erected as part of Barcelona's "Universal Exhibition of 1888." 

At the top

Atop the 60-meter-tall Corinthian column stands a 24-foot bronze statue of Christopher Columbus pointing out to sea. Ride an elevator up to the top, where a small viewing gallery offers 360° views of the city.

Statues and friezes

The many statues and friezes around the base of the Mirador de Colom give a pictorial account of Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World. The sculptures feature depictions of Columbus and historical figures who were involved with the journey.


Surrounding the Mirador de Colom are 8 lions, 4 sitting and 4 standing. Visitors often climb atop the lions to pose for photographs.

Camp Nou

Camp Nou is home to Barcelona's football team, FC Barcelona. Although its official name is the Fútbol Club Barcelona, many fans use the Catalán nickname, Barça. Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Spain, offering guided tours. 

The field

Camp Nou was constructed between 1954 and 1957.  In 2014, the 999th game was played by FC Barcelona on Camp Nou’s field. FC Barcelona won 754 of these games, scoring a total of 2,530 goals at the stadium.

The stadium seats

Camp Nou literally translates to "new field." With needs to accommodate the increasingly large fan base, Camp Nou's stadium seats almost 100,000 people. Most seats are reserved for FC Barcelona club members, leaving limited seats for public purchase.

Castillo de Montjuïc

You can enjoy broad views of Barcelona from the top of Castillo de Montjuïc, a fortress that is rich in history. To get here, visitors take a funicular railway and then a gondola lift to the top of Montjuïc, a broad hill that overlooks the city.

In addition to this historic fortress, Montjuïc's other significant sites include parks, gardens, and museums.


Castillo de Montjuïc has seen multiple incarnations as a fortress and a castle. Originally built in 1640, the 4-sided stone and mud fort was soon attacked by Castilian troops in the 1641 Battle of Montjuïc.


In 1751, Spanish engineer and architect Juan Martin Cermeño built the current structure, a castle. Today, Castillo de Montjuïc is used by the Barcelona City Council as a Municipal Facility and houses a military museum.

Port of Barcelona

Barcelona's port serves ferries, cruise ships, cargo ships, and a number of passengers. In 2011, over 8,000 ships used Barcelona's port, over 1 million people used the port's ferry lines, and over 2 million people boarded cruise ships here.

The Sagrada Família

The Sagrada Família, also known as “Holy Family” or “The Church of the Holy Family” in English,  is one of the world's most elaborate unfinished works of art. In 1883, the construction of this church became the project of Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudí.

Gaudi dedicated 40 years to the planning and construction of the Sagrada Familia and it became his sole focus for the last 12 years of his life.


Gaudi, who died in 1926, left extensive plans for the continued construction of the Sagrada Familia. Ongoing for more than a century, the construction is hotly debated in Spain regarding the cost and the possible divergence from Gaudi's original vision.


The Sagrada Família draws several million visitors per year. Wander around and notice how light pours into the church's interior through skylights and stained glass windows, illuminating the church's many Gothic columns.

Aerial view of the city

Ride an elevator to the top of the Sagrada Família for a breathtaking view of this bustling Catalonian city. 

You may be mesmerized by the city's densely packed buildings, vehicles, and pedestrians, but don't forget to peer out into the distance where you can see a sliver of ocean.

City blocks

It’s easy to see the grid-like layout of Barcelona’s streets. Nearly every city block is shaped like a square with rounded edges. This characteristic structure is the work of Spanish urban planner Ildefons Cerdà and dates from the mid-1800s. 


Barcelona, home to over 1.6 million, is the capital of Catalonia, an autonomous region of Spain with its own language and culture. 

Torre Agbar, the Chameleon

The 31-story, conical-shaped building houses Agbar, which is responsible for many of Barcelona's civic services. Designed by architect Jean Nouvel, Torre Agbar is covered with glass screens, which allow its appearance to change depending on the light. 

Barcelona's beaches

Eight white-sand Mediterranean beaches rim the city of Barcelona. The city's most popular beach, Barceloneta, is nearly 1-mile long. Its waterfront, which was renovated for the 1992 Olympics, is home to many lively and popular restaurants.

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